Baking Soda Paints

Many years ago (July 28, 2015 to be exact…this post has been updated!) we made this set of baking soda paints. It was a fun outdoor, creative painting activity and we painted on the driveway. I wanted to come back to this sensory painting idea again, because it’s such a fun way to be creative with kids. Plus, kids can mix up paints of their own and work on scooping and pouring with the ingredients and support those fine motor skills. I think it’s a fun idea you’ll want to check out!

baking soda paint

Baking Soda Paint

The amazement of watching a child’s face light up when science and discovery happens is like watching a light turn on.  

This baking soda and vinegar paint experiment is a creative painting and sensory way to explore science through painting.  My kids had so much fun exploring the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar with our bright and bold homemade paints. We ended up with vivid paintings and had a great time creating.

Be sure to read our article on why kids need messy play…this activity sure does support those needs!

And, this activity is a great one for adding to a messy playdate with friends. As an OT, I LOVE using this activity for so many goal areas!

STEAM Activity

One fun benefit of this activity is that it’s a STEAM activity. we’ve covered the benefits of fine motor STEM activities, but the creative painting aspect of using the baking soda paints adds an art component to the science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

We’ve use STEM activities before, including with our baking powder boats.

You might want to check out our baking soda snowmen sensory activity for another fun science activity.

Baking Soda and Vinegar Paints

This post contains affiliate links.  This post is part of our Learning with Free Materials series where we are sharing learning ideas for homeschoolers and school-extension activities using items that are free or mostly free (i.e. CHEAP or you already have in the home), and is part of the 31 Days of Homeschooling Tips as we blog along with other bloggers with learning at home tips and tools.

You’ll need just three ingredients to make these paints:

  • baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Washable Poster Paint (This is my favorite brand of paint!)
  • Mini Muffin Tin (any containers will work, but you’ll want all of the paints near each other and enough compartments so that you can see the different shades made by slightly adjusting the amount of paint you add. 
  • Paper 
  • Popsicle sticks for mixing the paint and baking soda
  • Water 
  • Paint Brushes

How To make Baking Soda Paint

Ok, now that you’ve got your materials gathered, actually making the baking soda paint is really easy! This process is fun for kids to be involved with as well.

  1. First, mix together baking soda and water to create a thick paste.  You want it to be stir-able and moist.  Use the popsicle sticks to mix it together.
  2. Scoop the paste into the sections of the muffin tin with a spoon.  
  3. Add drops, globs, and dabs of different colored poster paint.  Adjust the amounts in the different sections so that you get a nice variety of shades.  
  4. Stir the paint into the paste.
  5. Next, pour off any excess water from the tops of the paste.  You want a nice, thick paste to remain.  

Then you are ready to paint! You can either start painting right away, OR you can let the paints harden. Allow the muffin tin paints to sit overnight. This will create a hard, tub of dried paint, almost like dry watercolors.

Baking soda and paint makes a great colorful painting mixture. We added a bit of vinegar to get a lovely fizz and pop to our paints!

This is such a fun way to explore the vinegar reaction with the baking soda paint.

Baking Soda Painting

Child mixing vinegar into baking soda paint with colorful painting on a driveway.

When you are ready to paint, you’ll need to prepare the vinegar.

Pour a small amount of vinegar into cups.  Use paint brushes to dab vinegar into the dried paints.  Watch the science reaction happen as you paint!

Mix baking soda, poster paints, and water to make baking soda paint

Adding more vinegar to the tubs of paint will give you a brighter hue as you paint.  You can get even more vivid colors by swiping chunks of moistened baking soda across the page.  And, what a textured piece of art this will be!

Child mixing vinegar in a cup with baking soda paint in a mini muffin tin

What is especially neat about these paints are that if you work quickly enough, you can see the bubbly reaction right on your art work.  Simply swipe the paint brush into the vinegar and then into the baking soda paints.  Quickly paint and your bubbles will dry onto the paper.

Child painting with baking soda paint on an easel

We taped a piece of paper onto an easel and painted on the vertical surface. This is a great activity for developing wrist stability and core strength.

Baking Soda Painting

How gorgeous is this work of art? The baking soda paint made vivid colors!

Make your own Baking Soda Vinegar reaction paints for bold and bright colored creative art for kids.
Use a mini muffin tin to make a whole set of baking soda paints. The colors are so vivid!

Looking for more baking soda experiments?  These are a few of our favorites:


Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

baking soda paint

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